Perform these exercises for 30 seconds at a time to begin with, and gradually build up to 60 seconds by adding 5 to 10 second increments as your metabolic conditioning improves. To burn the most blubber, keep your heart rate cranked up, and torch the most calories, keep your rest periods to 30 seconds or less between movements. Finally, you’ll get your best results by alternating between sets of “non-competitive” moves – i.e. switching between exercises that work your upper body and lower body, or front and backside. Doing so will minimize fatigue and help you keep up the intensity throughout the workout.
1. GROUND ZERO JUMP
WHY IT WORKS: The ground zero jump is a lower-impact alternative to traditional jumping activities. The move works your whole body, especially your backside, crushing calories like few moves can while sparing your joints. The jumps target fast-twitch muscle fibers, which have the biggest impact on your metabolism, athleticism, and heart rate. And they strengthen your hips and core more than traditional cardio exercises like running on the treadmill or gliding along on the elliptical.
HOW TO DO IT: Stand with your feet hip-width apart, toes pointing straight ahead, and knees “soft” and slightly flexed. This is the starting position. Hinge back at your hips with a flat back and reach your arms back behind you like a downhill skier without squatting downward. Explosively push your hips forward to come to a full stand while swinging your arms to chest level. Return to the starting position, and repeat. To make the move easier, perform the motion at a slow, more controlled pace. Or for an extra challenge, extend your arms overhead at the top, coming on to your toes. You can increase the speed of the movement, and even go slightly airborne if you really want to kick it up a notch.
2. PREDATOR JACKS
WHY IT WORKS: If you’ve ever seen the movie “Predator” or the celebration dance of Green Bay Packers’ sack-master Clay Mathews, then you’ve seen this mighty metabolic mobility move. In a minute or less, it fires up the nerve pathways that link your mind and muscles, and mobilizes tight areas in your ankles, hips, and upper back –making this quite possibly the world’s quickest warm-up.